In John Ross‘s first two NFL seasons, he looked like a major bust. Selected by the Bengals with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft, Ross didn’t catch a single pass in his first season and managed just 21 catches for 210 yards in his second.
This year is much different.
Ross is leading the NFL with 270 receiving yards and a stunning 24.5 yards per catch, finally using the blazing speed that saw him break the record for the fastest 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton sees a major difference from Ross in his first year playing for new coach Zac Taylor.
“He’s got a great understanding of this offense, and he’s probably doing some different things than he was doing in years past,” Dalton said. “His attention to all the details has been on point, and he’s playing with confidence. He knows he’s going to make these plays, and I think it’s a belief in himself and that’s shown in the way he’s played so far.”
Dalton said he thinks Ross is feeling more comfortable both physically and mentally this season.
“Yeah, and I think he feels good right now physically,” Dalton said. “We had to get him back ready to go. He knows the big play potential you can have in this offense, and he’s proved that through the first two weeks.”
After never having more than 52 yards in a game in his first two seasons, Ross has 112 and 158 yards in two games this year. This year he looks like a completely different player.